Writing Workshop Teacher – Reflection

A few days ago Ruth blogged about “end of the year reflections,” where she posted a link to her wiki where one could download an end of the year teaching reflection about Writing Workshop. Still wound-up from my day in Boston, and needing to get focused back on preparing for the week ahead, I decided to complete this amazing reflection sheet.

I am posting my responses to the reflection since, as you’ll see, there are areas (SHARING!!!!) that I definitely need to work on in the year ahead. However, without completing a tool like this, I don’t think I would have actually given as much thought to this sharing problem as I have tonight. This makes me think that there are actually things I can do, in the remaining 23 days of the school year, to encourage my students to share in a more structured way.)

Anyway, without further ado, here’s my WW Teacher Reflection.

Environment & Resources

Structure

A-Okay!

Working On It

Maybe next year!

x

My writing workshop is predictable. (Time & Structure)

x

My students know the procedures & parts of writing workshop.

x

My students are able to work independently and make decisions as writers.

x

My writing workshop is a series of units.

x

  • The units are driven by state standards.

x

  • There is a balance between genre based units & other units.

x

Students are writing for real audiences and purposes.

x

Students select their own topics and projects.

x

Focus lessons are taught as a series.

x

Skills and strategies are revisited throughout the year.

(2nd & up) Writers Notebook

x

  • Variety of entries

x

  • Different than a journal

x

  • Used throughout the year

x

Organizational system established for student work.

x

Organizational system attempted for teacher records.

The Environment

A-Okay!

Working On It

Maybe next year!

x

Meeting Area

x

  • Open space for gathering

x

  • Overhead available

x

  • Chart paper available

x

  • Seating facilitates interactive learning

x

My room is a literature-rich environment.

x

Student work is posted often.

x

Posters & articles around the room are:

x

  • Teacher/student generated

x

  • Frequently used

x

The seating is arranged in a way that allows students to engage with one another.

Records

x

Focus Lesson Records

  • Topic
  • Resources needed
  • Literature Used
  • Date & length
  • Organizational system developed

x

Mentor Texts

  • Possible focus lessons
  • Organizational system developed

x

Conferring

  • Student goals
  • Student growth
  • Topics & genres
  • Refer back to past notes
  • Organizational system developed

    x

    Finished Work

  • Date completed
  • Assessment tool used
  • Organizational system developed
    • I have way too much stuff just thrown into the storage room in different piles (though it’s “categorized” by unit of study.

Writing Center

A-Okay!

Working On It

Maybe next year!

x

Students use the tools & resources as writers.

x

Student use Work-in-Progress Folders

x

Literature is available for students to use.

I have the following tools available:

  • Pencils
  • Erasers
  • K-1: Spacers
  • Drafting Paper
    • (K – 3) Choice appropriate for different abilities.
    • (K-3) Paper scaffolds writing.
  • Publishing Paper
    • Wide variety
    • Stationery
    • Envelopes
  • Resource books
    • Dictionaries
    • Thesaurus
    • Writer’s Inc.
    • Other ___________________
  • Revision Checklists
  • Editing Checklists
  • Sticky Notes
  • Colored pencils, crayons, markers, etc.
  • Stapler
  • Paperclips
  • Other: Sharpies

The Workshop

Focus Lessons

A-Okay!

Working On It

Maybe next year!

x

My focus lessons are an appropriate length. (Less than 15 min.)

x

The class gathers in a meeting area.

x

I use direct instruction by:

x

  • Talking as one writer (who is more experienced) to other writers.

x

  • Showing examples from a text.

x

  • Modeling my writing.

x

  • Showing examples from students.

x

  • Other: Written by my former students

x

My instruction is driven by student needs.

x

My lessons link to a bigger goal/unit of study.

x

I keep records of my focus lessons.

Writing Time/Application

x

There is a smooth transition from the focus lesson to the writing time.

x

I expect students to apply what they learn in the focus lesson to their own writing.

x

I write the things I expect my students to write.

Sharing

x

Sharing time is a part of every workshop.

x

It is an appropriate length (5 – 15 minutes).

x

A safe sharing environment has been established:

x

  • Students desire to share

x

  • Appropriate feedback is given

x

  • Audience is respectful of the speaker

x

I use a variety of sharing experiences.

Conferring

A-Okay!

Working On It

Maybe Next Year!

x

I go to students.

x

I use a quiet voice, but those close to me can still hear.

x

Students do not interrupt my conferences.

x

I use open ended questions to learn what students are doing as writers.

x

I LISTEN to students’ responses.

x

I try to avoid questions that lead into a conversation about the student’s topic.

x

I affirm the good work the student is doing.

x

I teach ONLY ONE skill or strategy.

x

I “teach the writer, not the writing.”

x

When I am conferring with a student, I give him/her my undivided attention.

x

I see 3 – 5 students during a workshop.

x

I keep records.

x


I walk around the room between conferences to make sure everyone is on task.

The one part of my workshop teaching that is most successful is:

  • Focus Lessons (what I call minilessons)

The goal I have for my workshop teaching is:

  • To make sure students are sharing in a more structured way next year.

Questions or resources I need are:

  • Time to keep better records even on the busiest of days (i.e., editing and publishing days)